Jude Dry. What, in fact, is a lesbian? Must the film focus primarily on a gay storyline, or can it feature strong lesbian characters doing something entirely different than just being lesbians? Is subtext enough? Some won awards; others reached cult status long after their releases. We melt alongside Alike as she lights up with the first tingles of love, seeing herself for the first time through the desiring eyes of Bina Aasha Davis.
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Lesbians who came out in the s did so in a cultural wasteland. It was not until formidable tennis champion Martina Navratilova came out in that we had someone to look up to. The only lesbian-themed movies around at that time depicted us as tragic, or freaks, and often both. Personal Best , about two female athletes that fall for each other, and Desert Hearts set in Nevada, depicting yet another tragic love affair between women, were the least bad. Until the release of The Kids Are Alright , a film about children growing up with two mums who decide to seek out their sperm donor, I had never watched a general release film in which the main characters just happened to be lesbians, as opposed to the film being about shock, horror lesbianism and its associated problems and pitfalls. Then, last year, the rather brilliant film about Billie Jean King, Battle of the Sexes , came out and gave me a couple of hours of total pleasure. Here was a feminist who fought tooth and nail on behalf of female tennis players in a sexist, male-dominated world, who embarks on a passionate love affair with another woman who she clearly prefers to her husband.
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So, what are you waiting for? Grab some popcorn, put your feet up and get watching…. The Two of Us tells the heartbreaking story of two girls whose relationship has been confined to an isolated cabin in the desert. This leaves the girls at a crossroads, and ultimately, forced to make a difficult decision. The Two of Us is such a beautiful, yet sad, depiction of a hidden lesbian relationship.
Are we comparing them in terms of narrative? Or is it strong and unique characters? Is it in terms of innovation of the genre, and can we even call lesbian or LGBT films a genre in general, considering they can vary from comedies, to dramas, to murder stories? Of course, one must consider all these things at once because, after all, films are complex and multi-sided.